Record $13 Million for Recreational Grants Awarded by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Thursday July 30, 2020

The project grants will restore a key piece of the Weiser River Trail, create new trails for hikers and riders and improve campgrounds and boat facilities across Idaho.

Each year, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation distributes funds to enhance recreational opportunities across the state. The money comes from gasoline taxes, recreational vehicle registration fees, specialty license plates and federal funding for trail development.

Advisory committees with members from user groups – campers, boaters and trail users – evaluated 154 projects, ranking them for consideration by the Idaho Park and Recreation Board.

“People are taking to outdoor recreation in record numbers this year, so it’s fitting that a record number of dollars are going out to improve trails, campgrounds and boating facilities,” said David Langhorst, Parks and Recreation director.

The record year comes from a combination of increased revenues from grant sources and unspent funds from previous grant awards that has been reallocated.

All the awards have been made apart from the Recreational Trails grants, which are provisional and must be ratified by the Federal Highway Administration.

Here are some of the noteworthy projects:

  • The Lortz Trestle on the Weiser River Trail: The Friends of the Weiser River Trail are recommended to receive $102,010 to rebuild the span on an old railroad bridge, which was washed out in a 2019 flood, sending users on a 2.2-mile detour. The Friends group will contribute an additional $34,000.
  • Camping Improvements for Celebration Park: Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources will receive $444,125 to upgrade campsites and access in the park’s East End, including upgraded RV pads, parking areas and picnic facilities. A new, accessible restroom, meeting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, will serve campers and hikers. The county will contribute nearly $25,000 to the project.
  • Construction of the Billingsley Creek Campground: The department received $2.6 million toward the construction of a 50-spot campground as part of Thousand Springs State Park. The department will add another $1.2 million to build the facility, expected to open in mid-2022.
  • Wallace Forest Conservation Area, Trail Development and Improvements: The Bureau of Land Management’s Coeur d’Alene office is recommended to receive $17,800 to create a 1.5-mile mountain bike trail, build an equestrian parking and tailhead, improving conditions for all users. BLM will add another $4,450 to the project.
  • 3rd Street Boat Launch Replacement: The City of Coeur d’Alene will receive $124,007 toward rebuilt the heavily used ramp with metal docks that will be more durable and ADA compliant, providing accessibility to more users. The city will contribute an additional $22,000 to the project.
  • Riggins Park Boat Ramp: The City of Riggins will receive $282,661 to improve a deteriorating access road and boat ramp, increasing safety and accessibility. The city will contribute another $50,000 to the project.
  • Sandpoint Memorial Field Boat Launch: The City of Sandpoint will receive $360,000 to increase safety and functionality at the heavily used launch. The city will contribute another $770,000 to the project, which also includes ADA improvements.